Frequently Asked Questions

How much exercise do Cavaliers require?
Cavaliers need either a moderate size fenced-in yard in which to run, or a minimum of one good walk each day (in addition to potty walks). If their owners want walking companions, Cavaliers can build up over time to much longer walks. Regular exercise is very important for a Cavalier's heart. Even older Cavaliers should be encouraged to go up and down stairs.

Are Cavaliers good with children?
Cavaliers love to interact with their owners and enjoy activity and play, making them especially close friends and confidants for children. Cavaliers are excellent with children, but the age of the children is an important factor in choosing a puppy. Because Cavalier puppies are so small, many breeders will not sell young puppies to families with children under the age of five. An older puppy or adult dog will be more suitable for such families. All children, of course, need supervision to ensure they do not hurt the dog.

What age Cavalier should I buy?
We believe that a puppy should be homed no sooner than eight weeks, but often, for the sake of the puppy, keep them a little longer - sometimes up to 16 weeks. Cavalier puppies are very slow to mature and benefit from staying with their mothers and littermates longer than many other breeds.
A Cavalier nine to twelve months old is a good choice for a family with children under the age of five. Cavaliers have a long puppyhood and will still be puppies at this age.
Many people find that an older Cavalier is ideal. There are many advantages, among them that the dog is already housebroken and beyond the puppy chewing stage. Any concern that such a dog will never bond as strongly as one obtained as a young puppy is unfounded.
Cavaliers of any age will bond with their new owners. “Love the one you're with” is the Cavalier motto.

Are Cavaliers good with seniors?
Retirees and empty-nesters find the companionship, temperament, small size, and easy maintenance of Cavaliers ideal. Women have mentioned that a Cavalier resting on her lap or in the crook of her arm is almost as peaceful as holding a sleeping infant. And more than one senior citizen has received two invitations for a cocktail party or other get-together, one addressed to the senior and the other to his or her Cavalier.

Are Cavaliers good guard dogs?
Plainly and simply: No. While Cavaliers will alert their owners to the arrival of someone new, they seem to regard all strangers as friends they haven't met yet. Although a noisy greeting might be enough to ward off a prowler, it is difficult to picture anyone being scared off by a Cavalier.

How are Cavaliers with other pets in the household?
Cavaliers are the ultimate groupies and are usually delighted to have the company of cats and dogs of any size. If you have a large dog, you will need to watch your Cavalier puppy carefully while it is small. Because Cavaliers are spaniels with a strong sporting instinct, they should be watched closely around birds and other small animals as well. Many Cavalier owners report that they have trained their dogs to live happily with hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and the like. (In households where no one is home during the day, the companionship of another dog or a cat is highly recommended.)

Can my Cavalier be left outdoors while I'm at work every day?
Cavaliers are indoor dogs. While they are sturdy and hardy and can thrive in both cold and hot climates, they are not dogs to be left outdoors. Leaving a Cavalier outdoors when no one is home a would put the dog at great risk of being stolen. Your Cavalier should have a safe place in your house where it may be left during the day. The younger the Cavalier, the more restricted the area should be.

Do Cavaliers travel well?
People who travel find it easy and pleasant to take their Cavaliers along. Their strong desire to be with their owners makes them willing travelers. Their size and personality contribute to their welcome at “dogs allowed” hotels, marinas, and campgrounds.

Are Cavaliers an American Kennel Club (AKC) breed?
As of January 1996, Cavaliers are fully recognized by the AKC. This recognition has resulted in two national breed clubs, the original CKCSC, USA and the AKC-recognized American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.

Can I find a Cavalier in a pet store?
Many of the Cavaliers that are found in pet stores come from puppy mills. But if you ask the pet store manager, they'll undoubtedly assure you that they are not supporting puppy mills (imagine that!). We recommend you buy a Cavalier only if you meet the breeder and talk with them about their breeding protocol and health testing.

What kind of grooming do Cavaliers require?
The Cavalier does require regular grooming. A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week. Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and combed regularly. Ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days, daily in shedding season.
Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall, but a little all the time. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. No other trimming is necessary (or allowed) in the show ring.
Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs. Because too much bathing dries out the skin and their coat, they should not be bathed more than once a week. All knots and tangles should be brushed out before a Cavalier is bathed. Many owners find that bathing their pets every two months is quite adequate.